Press Release

European Parliament has one final chance to act on dangerous air pollution from cars, vans and trucks

October 12, 2023

Severely weakened Euro 7 proposals will do little to improve appalling air quality in European cities.

Today Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee further weakened the European Commission’s proposals to clean up toxic pollution from cars, vans and trucks. Transport & Environment warns that this is not only a disaster for health, but that it will allow the automotive industry to greenwash cars as ‘clean Euro 7’ while still running on highly polluting Euro 6 technology.

Anna Krajinska, vehicle emissions and air quality manager at T&E, said: “The same parliament that voted for more ambitious air quality standards is killing off the Euro 7 legislation that’s crucial to delivering cleaner air for all. MEPs have decided to give the auto industry a free pass even though toxic pollution from road vehicles is responsible for over 70,000 premature deaths every year in Europe. In doing so, they have ignored all the expert advice that this would be both technically feasible and affordable for car companies and consumers.”

While the committee proposals slightly tighten rules for brakes and tires as well as battery and emissions durability T&E argues that this is little more than window dressing compared to the impact of weakening of the proposals elsewhere.

Compared to the Commission’s draft, this new proposal will:

  • Weaken limits for trucks, allowing approximately 2 x higher nitrous oxide (NOx) limits.
  • Weaken limits for light-commercial vehicles to be 30% weaker on NOx.
  • Weaken testing conditions for cars including on acceleration, temperature and altitude back to Euro 6 requirements.
  • Severely weaken testing requirements for trucks, almost entirely reverting back to Euro 6 standards.
  • Severely delay implementation of Euro 7, meaning cars won’t have to comply with limits until three years after all associated regulation is adopted. For trucks the rules won’t apply until 2030 at the earliest.

Anna Krajinska said: “Overall Euro 7 is much, much weaker following the proposals put forward by the environmental committee. The small gains on durability and non-exhaust pollution in no way compensate for the disastrous weakening of limits and testing for cars, vans and trucks. It will allow 100 million more highly polluting cars to be sold and driven on our roads for decades to come. Next month, the European Parliament has one last chance to act on people’s health, it must use it to act in the interests of all citizens.”

The European Parliament will meet in Plenary on 8/9th November to vote on its final position on Euro 7 before entering into trilogue negotiations with the European Commission and the European Council. This will be the last chance to increase its ambition for both the Euro 7 and public health in Europe.

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